Winter is an inevitable part of life throughout the United States, but that does not make it any easier to handle the frigid temperatures. Cold winter weather can absolutely disrupt nearly every part of your life. In addition to throwing off your immune system, it also causes harm to your most valuable possessions. If you do not want your home to get damaged in the cold, then you will need to start making some winterizing precautions. These are the four best ways to maintain your home’s exterior this winter.
Protect Exterior Plumbing
Frozen pipes are a huge concern on extremely cold winter nights, but most people tend to focus on the wrong plumbing. The indoor pipes will rarely freeze because they are exposed to the warm indoor air. The exterior plumbing is far more likely to freeze. Turn off the water supply to all exterior faucets. This will allow all of the water to drain from the pipes before the temperatures drop below freezing. It is also a good idea to use pipe insulation for the exterior pipes to protect them from the cold weather.
Check for Foundation Cracks
It is completely natural for a house to settle over time. This can create some small cracks in the foundation. It is vitally important to address these cracks in the winter before they become a bigger problem. The cold weather can force the cracks to expand if they are not addressed. These cracks can also be used by small insects to enter your home as they try to find a way to escape the cold. Fill in any small cracks with mortar or foam filler to prevent these problems.
Clean the Gutters
Cleaning the gutters is one of the most dreaded household chores, but it is also one of the most important. Water is unable to escape the gutters when they become too clogged. The cold winter weather will cause this trapped water to freeze. This can create dangerous ice dams to develop on the edge of your house. It can also cause water to leak in the basement the next time it snows.
Trim the Trees
If there are any large trees located near your home, then they need to be professionally trimmed before the weather gets too cold. Winter precipitation easily freezes on tree branches. This ice build-up puts a lot of extra weight on the tree branches, which makes them highly susceptible to breaking. These broken branches can do a lot of damage if they fall on your roof, car, or power lines. Avoid the risk by trimming all of the dangerous tree branches.
Plan for Snow Removal
While cities in snowy climates provide snow removal from the streets and roads, it is the home or business owner to remove the snow from sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots. Be sure you have a plan in place for keeping these private areas clear of snow. Depending on the size of your property, you will want to have a snow shovel or a snowblower handy. Many stores sell out of these items when a storm hits. If you have a larger property, you may want to have a professional come to plow the snow away. Many landscaping services provide snow removal in the wintertime.